Fromm Winery was established in 1992 by Georg Fromm and winemaker Hätsch Kalberer, with the intent of producing European-styled wines of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Malbec, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Gewürztraminer. The vineyards and wines are 100% organic, and Fromm believes in allowing the fruit and terroir to speak for themselves rather than being heavy-handed in the cellar. The vineyards are densely planted, they do not use any artificial chemicals, and refrain from irrigating the vineyards so the vines struggle and produce quality, terroir-driven fruit. Though Georg Fromm returned to his native Switzerland in 2008 to tend to his family winery, Fromm Winery today is under the watchful eyes of family friend and owner Pol Lenzinger, co-owner Stephan Walliser, and George Walliser.
Today’s Wine: 2017 Cuvée H Pinot Noir
100% Pinot Noir; 13.5% ABV
The 2017 Cuvée H Pinot Noir is pale to medium ruby in color and translucent. Once this opens up, the nose showcases aromas of black cherry, strawberry, licorice, forest floor, gravel, mixed herbs, mild baking spice, and vanilla. On the palate, the wine displays notes of plum, pomegranate, wild raspberry, strawberry licorice, lightly smoked game, loamy earth, finely crushed rock, and light oak. This is medium-bodied with medium acidity, medium (-) tannins, and a medium (+) finish.
Price: $35. This wine offers great QPR, drinking with both quality and depth while coming across quite Burgundian in style. Pair with roasted chicken, Beef Wellington, or quail.
Te Whare Ra is a small family-owned winery established in 1979 but under the guide of winemakers Anna and Jason Flowerday since 2003. TWR’s vineyard is one of the oldest in Marlborough and consists of 11 hectares planted to Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. Anna and Jason manage their vineyard adhering to organic and biodynamic principles, while also practicing minimal intervention in the cellar. The duo keeps their yields low, all fruit is hand-picked and hand-sorted, no chemicals are used in the vineyards, and the wine is made as naturally as possible with no fining agents, chemical tannins, or chemical yeast nutrients added. TWR is a founding member of Marlborough Natural Winegrowers (MANA) and is certified organic by BIOGRO NZ. To learn more about TWR’s farming and winemaking practices, explore their portfolio, or meet the team (including their cows and dogs), check out the website here.
Today’s Wine: 2014 Pinot Noir SV5182
100% Pinot Noir; 13.5% ABV
The 2014 Pinot Noir SV5182 is pale ruby in color and moderately transparent. I simply let this open in the glass for about 30 minutes and the nose showcases aromas of black cherry, raspberry, blue florals, leather, loamy earth, savory herbs, cinnamon, and peppered game. Once on the palate, the wine displays notes of blueberry, black raspberry, ripe cherry, spicy plum, tobacco, forest floor, wet stone, dried green herbs, and violet. This Pinot is medium-bodied with medium acidity, fine-grained medium (-) tannins, and a long finish. 129 cases produced.
Price: $40. This is elegant and of superb quality, while also being a fun exploratory wine since I haven’t had much Pinot Noir from New Zealand. The fact that this is a “natural” wine adds another delightful dimension. Pair this with duck breast, pulled pork, or baked chicken.